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ONLY ON OMG! – Ritz Azul: A new drama princess rises

Ritz Azul (NPPA Images)Ritz Azul (NPPA Images)"Star Factor" finalist Ritz Azul is currently one of TV5's Princesses—along with Alex Gonzaga, Danita Paner, Jasmine Curtis, Arci Munoz, and Eula Caballero. But according to Audie Gemora, Talent 5 head and "Star Factor" judge, it took him and his fellow "Star Factor" judges a while to realize Ritz is a potential star-in-the-making.

"We didn't even think of her as a major contender (for "Star Factor") until gumawa siya ng isang monologue na hawak-hawak nya yung saging and it was based on her own life story. We were so touched and we realized na malaman itong batang ito, marami syang paghuhugutan," Gemora said. Because of this monologue, Gemora saw that Ritz is a "great talent to be working on kasi ang potential andyan na lahat."

Ritz, he said, became an easy choice to play the part of Daisy in the TV5 primetime soap opera "Mga Nagbabagang Bulaklak."

"Unang una, ang ganda nya. Kahit napaka-simpleng babae, you can feel already a beauty and a sensuality about her. It's innocent kasi napaka-inosente nyang babae, pero there's this dating. And actually we're charting out her career to be more like a Cristine Reyes. Pagkatapos ng finals ng 'Star Factor,' we already charted out her career. So nung dumating yung role nung 'Mga Nagbabagang Bulaklak,' di na kami nag-isip. Siya na talaga," Gemora said.

In an interview with Yahoo! OMG! Philippines, Ritz talks about her blossoming career, working with veteran actors, and what people should expect from her.

Yahoo! OMG! Philippines: What do you feel about the success of "Mga Nagbabagang Bulaklak"?

Ritz Azul: Of course, I'm very happy about the success of "Mga Nagbabagang Bulaklak" and of TV5, kasi sa maiksing panahon, napansin agad ng mga manonood ang malaking pagbabago ng TV5 - mas pinalakas, mas pinaganda. At siyempre, masaya ako dahil naging part ako ng soap na ito, kahit baguhan ako, pinagkatiwalaan ako ng TV5. Maraming salamat po una sa Dios at sa lahat ng nagtiwala sa akin.

OMG: You were one of the top trending topics in Yahoo! Philippines during the premiere week of your show. Did you expect this kind of attention for your first show after "Star Factor"?

Ritz: Actually po, when I heard na I'm one of the trending topics in Yahoo! Philippines, I was so shocked! Hindi ko po inexpect na ganun na mapapansin ako ng mga manonood lalo na nung nakita ko na nagtagal ako ng ilang days sa top three spots ng trending topics.

OMG: A few weeks into the show, how is it working with the likes of Richard Gomez and Ruffa Gutierrez?

Ritz: As of now, hindi ko pa po nakakaeksena si Ms. Ruffa Guiterrez pero nakasama ko na po sya sa 'Star Factor.' Nung nakasama ko po sya, sobrang saya ko kasi idol ko po sya and I found her very nice to us. Tinutulungan nya rin po kami kapag alam nyang nahihirapan na kaming sagutin yung interviews.

Kay Tito Goma naman po, kamakailan ko lang po sya nakaeksena and sobrang iksi pa pero I can tell na magaling siyang umalalay sa mga baguhang tulad ko. Kaya nga po malaki ang pasasalamat ko na nahanay ako sa magagaling na cast ng "Mga Nagbabagang Bulaklak" 'coz they're very supportive and understanding.

OMG: Because of the provocative nature of the show, a lot of people are wondering if you are planning to go sexy when the time comes. Is this something you're considering right now or is your portrayal in "Mga Nagbabagang Bulaklak" as far as you can go?

Ritz: As of now, I am not planning anything for myself. Malaki po ang tiwala ko sa TV5 na bibigyan nila ako ng mga roles na kakayanin ko, nababagay sa akin at pangangalagaan nila ako. Alam ko na alam din nila ang limitations ko... I am considering not to go on more sexy roles. Binibigay ko lang yung hinihingi ng role sa abot ng makakaya ko.

OMG: What should the viewers and your fans expect from Ritz Azul in the coming months?

Ritz: Siguro kung loloobin po, mas improved Ritz in more projects, different roles (I hope) at higit sa lahat makapanatili as simple as I can be.

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